To lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. Weightlifting is a great way to lose weight because it burns a lot of calories, but weight training helps to shed inches more than pounds.
Why Weight Train?
Weight training has many health benefits. It builds muscle, burns calories, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, increases resting metabolic rate, decreases body fat, and increases strength and endurance. It also aids weight loss, by burning calories during a workout and while the body is at rest.
Weight Training for Weight Loss
Martica Heaner, of MSN Health & Fitness, recommends lower-body exercises such as squats and lunges, which will burn more calories than bicep curls alone. Moving quickly through circuit-style routines that involve different resistance exercises such as curls, push-ups and bench press can also burn more calories than slow weight lifting.
Weight Training Exercises
Personal trainer and owner of RESULTS Private Fitness Boston, recommends several weight-training exercises that are appropriate for beginner, intermediate and advanced weight trainers.
Push-ups are an excellent exercise for working the chest, shoulders and triceps.
Pull-ups primarily work the upper back and biceps.
Dumbbell shoulder presses work the shoulders and triceps, and it can be done standing or seated.
Squats work all of the leg muscles and some core muscles.
Lunges also exercise the leg muscles and some core muscles.
Calf raises work the lower leg muscles.
Lean Body Muscle
The biggest thing to remember is that when it comes to weight training for weight loss, the pounds might not come off as quickly (or as many) as cardio exercise, but the inches will. Lean muscle allows you to burn calories while you're body is at rest.
"There is some evidence that a very intense, super-hard weights workout can create a slight caloric after-burn," says Heaner in a Health MSNBC article.
Weight Training Diet
Diets should include lean protein such as chicken, lean turkey and fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and unsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados. Contrary to popular belief, protein does not build muscle. It helps repair muscles after a workout, but eating more protein will not create muscle.
It's also important to drink plenty of water to rehydrate the body. People who lift weights tend to eat more protein--maybe because of the misconception--so it's important to drink enough water to help the kidneys process the protein.